So I’m about to head off on holidays. Yay!
But because I wont be around for the next 6 weeks, (every time I say that, it sounds so sweet) I am not going to be able to coordinate the Waratah sports fest team this year. Happily however, one of our champ young adults has put his hand up to coordinate our Sportsfest team; the Waratah Warriors. (For those that don;t know, ‘Sportsfest’ a long weekend of about 1500 15-28 year-olds from churches all over the state competing in nearly 30 different sports. It’s epic)
-Yep that’s the Dawesville bridge. Legendary.
What I have been so impressed about is how excited everyone is to be part of the team. Folks are just so looking forward to going along and competing, I wonder because they do not have the expectation of a nation on their shoulders. With little expectation comes maximum enjoyment.
So here I am talking to one group of ‘athletes’ about how much they are looking forward to the experience of just playing in a team, whilst at the same time being assaulted through various news media outlets about the ‘post-mortem’ of the Austalian Olympic team and management after the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Really? Post mortem? That’s heavy sort of language. What died?
How does it go again? ‘pride comes before the fall’ I think?
Well, team officials are ducking for cover, athletes are laying low and the media is looking to find out precisely who should be sacked because, you know, we haven’t really addressed the problem until someone has been sacked right?
But I’d like to offer a suggestion:
If we’re going to ‘sack’ anything Australia, let’s sack our sense of superiority.
I mean what if (hold on to your hat) the rest of the world can actually produce some amazing athletes for less money? You know, because of genes and stuff?
There’s a lot of things that we have right, but the way we often look at ourselves in comparison to other nations and other people is often not one of them. I wonder if this is what happens when you’re the lucky (read: blessed) country for so long; you begin to develop some sense of entitlement. Throw into that mix the late modernist view that everything later/new = better and we find ourselves in the situation where if we end up with ‘less than last time’ and ‘even less than the time before that’ then there has to be something wrong with us.
The more I reflect on it, the more I realise that often we are so convinced that something is wrong with us, because in our pride, we can fail to see how much everyone else has changed and moved on.
And I might add, we fail to celebrate other’s victories; the highest form of sportsmanship.
Here’s why the Olympic rings are not gold silver and bronze; because it is a truly international event which involves nations who may not even get a single medal of any of those colours.
So let’s be grateful.
It reminds me of life. Life is an international event involving 7 billion participants from every single nation on earth. Some of those participants, in fact many of those participants are unsure where their next meal is coming from.
We meanwhile, have the luxury of getting in a tiz over our performance in a sporting event.
I wonder how much en-joy-ment, that is; finding joy in something, because we are spending every hour prior to it, building up our expectation of it.
So, if you’re ‘going for gold’ (and there’s nothing wrong with that, just ask the apostle Paul) keep a mind of gratitude because many are simply going for bronze and some, are just trying to make it to the finish line.
Let’s be thankful we’re even in the race.